INNOVATIVE WORKING CAPITAL FINANCING – BASIL SPRINGER COLUMN DECEMBER 25, 2017
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” – Luke 6:38
This week I would like to re-present an innovative proposal to those with excess disposable income. It is designed to help entrepreneurs get their enterprises launched, get the economy moving and ultimately help yourselves. When the country wins we all win.
In many countries, cities and communities we are faced with a wealth divide, that is the uneven distribution of assets which leads to poverty, crime and unhappiness. One way to reduce the wealth divide is through a strategy of enterprise development where the entrepreneur is encouraged to pursue his or her idea and nurture it along a journey to sustainable success. The necessary and sufficient ingredients which the entrepreneur ought to combine with the idea are management and money, in that order.
If the entrepreneur has access to finance, then the sustainable growth of the management of the enterprise may be facilitated by a partnership where a mentor is assigned to the entrepreneur. One mentoring strategy recently tested is Shepherding involving a Shepherding tool called the Management of Business Systems (MANOBIZTM) Matrix. This matrix creatively combines the five functions of management with the five business systems (corporate governance, investment finance, marketing, technical and support operations and people development) to remove obstacles along the journey to sustainable development.
If the entrepreneur does not have access to finance, which is usually the case, then it is equally as important that a mentor be assigned to the entrepreneur. The existing financial environment which is dominated by the “loan” financial instrument frustrates the entrepreneur’s attempt to establish and grow the potential enterprise. The traditional conditionalities on a bank loan are (1) hard collateral, (2) immediate monthly repayment of principal and interest and (3) a fixed repayment period.
The entrepreneur is often not in a position to provide hard collateral, the cash flow projections of the enterprise initially are not strong enough to support immediate monthly repayment of principal and interest and there are sometimes penalties if the enterprise does well enough to repay the principal balance well before the agreed upon repayment period.
A solution to the problem is “innovative working capital financing” where “management” replaces hard collateral, where “payment out of future profits” replaces monthly payments of principal and interest, and where “the exit clause” replaces the fixed repayment period.
Management’s first task is to prepare the cash flow and profitability history of the enterprise or, in the case of a start-up enterprise, to work with the entrepreneur to generate assumptions which would lead to solid cash flow projections. These projections inform as to the quantum and scheduling of finance required.
This is where persons with excess disposable income get involved either individually or collectively. Collective involvement is preferred because of the well established principle that “unity is strength”, in this case you are spreading the investment risk. Your excess disposable income may be giving little or no return in this economic environment but financing the development of an enterprise may. Such persons are encouraged to partner with enterprises and their shepherds towards a win-win outcome.
In practice, the entrepreneur, the financier, the shepherd will all have to arrange their lives to generate profits and adopt the principle of “pay out of future profits”.
Let us not hoard our savings but use some of them to foster enterprise development through the principles of “management as collateral”, “payment out of future profits” and “the exit clause” couched in the belief that if “you Give, and it will be given to you”.
May your Christmas be a season of love, happiness and unity.